Oorlam people

! Orlam (also: Oorlam ) actually! Gu Goun or Nauba - xu gye | ki- khoen [ Khi 1], is a collective term for the 17th and 18th century in the Cape Colony from the compounds of the Dutch Boers with working for them Nama Women formed societies.

Origin of the name

The origin of the name Orlam is not released. It could result from the Afrikaans have ( o'erlands or oor landers as much as: original inhabitants ). The term Orlam was needed to distinguish themselves from the more traditionally living Nama. Through its family relationship to European immigrants who Orlam were very familiar with their way of life. They spoke Afrikaans able to deal with guns and had a horse and cart.


The peculiarity of the Orlam is that they were quite familiar with their way of life and language due to their kinship relations with European immigrants, mostly reading and writing could and had to learn to handle firearms and others. This gave them a strong sense of superiority over other Nama groups and led to one of the Europeans certainly supported separation of Nama and Orlam. Orlam formed regional family clans who mostly worked for their European relatives as domestic workers, farm workers or guardian. Unlike their Nama relatives they had thus a relatively secure economic livelihoods to own herds were up and brought it so to a modest prosperity.

This exerted a pull on other Nama members who joined the Orlam families and formed together with them gradually turn independent companies. The groups were - before elected Kapteine ​​whose Dutch name was raised in the European literature on the " tribal name " - Dutch style; about the " Witbooi " by Kido Witbooi. So in the 18th century, five independent Orlam societies were created:

  • Africans ( ǁ ǁ ain Aixa )
  • Beersheba ( | Hai | khauan )
  • Bethanier (! Aman )
  • Khauas ( Kai | khauan )
  • Witbooi ( | Khobesin )

The tribal size brought it about that the Orlam could no longer "their" respective farms stay in, but demanded their own tribal areas in the Cape and - after taking over certain functions to secure the Cape region (see below) - also conceded got. These tribal areas were mainly in the Northern Cape Province - eg Pella, Tulbagh, Clanwilliam ' - and were intended by the Kapholländern as a buffer region to the north of the Orange River settled troubled and colonization disturbing Korana ( a Nama people ) and San. Orlam, especially the Africans, their intended task came to quite and made ​​numerous raids against the northern Nama and the San The Cape Government thanked for this " power " so that they are the African tribe to " official part of the Cape Dutch police power, " declared and - after supply of guns and ammunition - the" independent supervisory activities against the predatory San "(see Vedder: The old South West Africa, p 187) authorized. This led to the complete displacement of the San from southern South West Africa. Since the high-handedness of the Orlam increased more and more, whose tribal area has been increasingly becoming a melting pot of adventurers and criminals from the Cape Province, which was reflected in the increasing violence and attacks on traders, farmers, explorers and other tribal offices.

But it was the assassination of the Dutch Feldkornet Peter Pienaar and his family by his serfs, including Klaas Africans sparked vigorous policing of the Cape government faced in 1796 first fled the Africans and after them other Orlamgruppen on the Orange to South West Africa and there were new settlements. The Afrikaners under Jager Afrikaner in ǁ Khauxa! Nas ( Karas Mountains ), the Bethanier led by Jan Boois in Bethany, the Khauas under Amraal Lambert in Gobabis, the Beersheba under Paul Goliath in Beersheba and the Witbooi under Kido Witbooi in Gibeon

The Africans rose in the course of the 19th century the dominant power in South Africa. The Witbooi played in the history of South West Africa a major role - especially in connection with the uprising of the Herero and Nama from 1904 to 1908, in which they performed both as allies and as enemies of the German Protection Force in appearance.

The other Orlamstämme participated in the many conflicts of the 19th century, mostly as allies of one or other tribe and unfolded so far up to the present time no inherent meaning more.